Winter hotel occupancy breaks records in Aspen, Snowmass |

Winter hotel occupancy breaks records in Aspen, Snowmass

Staff report

Stay Aspen Snowmass announced actual numbers for the six-month winter season Wednesday, based on the most recent data available from Destimetrics, a firm that tracks mountain resort economics. Bill Tomcich, president of Stay Aspen Snowmass, the area’s central bookings agency, said in his email summary that the strong numbers speak for themselves.

Tomcich’s summary:

April results

With Easter Sunday falling on April 5 this year, the first two weeks of the month were much stronger than last year in both Aspen and Snowmass, as were the overall totals for the entire month. Total paid occupancy in Aspen was 31 percent stronger than last April, while Snowmass’ total paid occupancy for the month was 13 percent stronger. The average daily rate in April was just 4 percent ahead of last year but more than 20 percent ahead in Snowmass, leading to percentage RevPar increases in excess of 35 percent over last year in both Aspen and Snowmass. By any measure, this is the strongest April ever recorded by the lodging communities in both Aspen and Snowmass in the 10 years MTRiP/Destrimetrics had been tracking paid occupancy, average daily rate and revenue starting with the 2005-06 winter season.

Final November through April occupancy rates:

Aspen: 55.7 percent overall paid occupancy, 5.6 percent ahead of last winter and the strongest winter since the previously recorded high of 59 percent in winter 2007-08.

Snowmass: 55.3 percent overall paid occupancy, 10.7 percent ahead of last winter and the strongest winter ever recorded by MTRiP/Destimetrics over the past 10 years.

Combined: 55.5 percent overall paid occupancy, 7.9 percent ahead of last winter and also a new record for the two resorts combined, surpassing the prior record of 53.6 percent set during the winter of 2007-08.

December through April Airport update:

There were 136,968 total enplanements at the Aspen airport, 8.3 percent more than last winter and the most since winter 1997-98 when five airlines briefly served the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport.

Total United Express Enplanements: 118,522, 4 percent more than last winter and the most ever carried out of the Aspen airport by United Express.

SkyWest’s Winter Reliability into Aspen-Pitkin County Airport: 2,053 flights were completed into Aspen (including 107 for Delta) out of 2,163 scheduled for an overall completion rate of 94.9 percent. Of the 110 flights that couldn’t operate into Aspen, 79 were diverted to Grand Junction this winter and met with ground transportation.

For all carriers combined including Republic (United Express Q400’s) and Envoy (American), a total of 2,798 flights operated into Aspen out of 3,063 scheduled, for an overall completion rate of 91.3 percent, representing a significant improvement over last winter.

Looking Ahead Toward May and Summer

With several properties including the St. Regis and The Little Nell reopening today, town should start showing signs of coming back to life this weekend, and business will be very noticeable by the last weekend of the month. Snowmass will not emerge from its spring hibernation until the first weekend of June, but once it does, forward-looking occupancies into the summer are strong and are suddenly pacing ahead of last year at this time for both Aspen and Snowmass.